Black Mischief

WAUGH, Evelyn

INSCRIBED TO DIANA COOPER

WAUGH, Evelyn Black Mischief

Chapman & Hall, 1932.

First edition, large paper issue. Author's presentation copy, inscribed on the limitation leaf to Diana Cooper, "for Diana from Evelyn with his love". An out of series copy from an edition 250 special copies on laid paper with additional illustrations by the author. Original violet buckram with gilt titles to the spine and vignette to the upper cover. Eight full page illustrations, none of which appear in the trade edition, plus one full page map. A very good copy with the usual fading to the spine creeping onto the covers and a little wear to the spine ends.

Diana Cooper was at the time of this presentation one of Waugh's closest friends despite having only met a few months before. She was exactly the sort of woman Waugh liked, beautiful, intelligent and aristocratic and also something of a celebrity due to the success of her role in a new production of The Miracle. She was also married to a rising politician and moved in the highest social and political circles. At the time, Waugh was particularly prone to fall hopelessly in love, the latest object of his unrequited affections being Baby Jungman. It is plain that he was also very attracted to Diana Cooper and they became inseparable companions. Waugh accompanied her on a provincial tour of The Miracle, despite privately confessing his loathing for the play.
It is likely that Waugh had an affair with Diana Cooper in mind, but whilst Duff, her husband was a notorious womaniser, that was never Diana's style. As it was, she and Waugh remained good friends for the rest of Waugh's life and he wrote her into his novel, Scoop (reappearing later in the Sword of Honour Trilogy) as the redoubtable Mrs Stitch.

PROVENANCE: Lady Diana Cooper (1892-1986, authorial presentation inscription and bookplate, designed by Rex Whilstler, of Duff Cooper to the front pastedown).

Stock ID: 35420

£3,750.00

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